They were headed down the street away from the hospital.
Blaze had Nova cradled in one arm, having refused to let her walk.
"Shit," the Viral muttered as he looked over the list. "I can only read a part of this."
"Give it here." Yuri said, taking the list from his friend. He scanned over it before handing it back.
"What does it say?" Nova asked, taking the list from Blaze.
"Basically to make sure she doesn't lift any heavy objects or do anything to stretch her skin. And she needs to take those pills as directed: two ever few hours to ensure the pain and swelling in her ribs stays down. She ought to be healing up nicely in the next six to eight weeks."
"So, where we off to, sweetheart?" Blaze asked, looking down at Nova.
"Last I remember, Mother was living in a little apartment on the other side of town with Don's henchman."
"Well I guess we're headed there, then."
Nova poked Yuri's shoulder with her foot. "Are you coming with us, Yuri?"
Yuri shrugged. "Ah, don't see why not. I've not had anything better to do since the bar's been destroyed. I spent most of my time tending it. Now I have some free time till they get it fixed."
Nova smiled. "Thanks, Yuri."
"No problem, darlin'."
The trio made their way through town, passing by the wreckage of the Downtown Lounge as they traveled.
The rubble from the outer area of the hole had been cleared away and men in construction uniforms were busy cleaning out the inside.
"Crazy to think that was not long ago," Yuri commented. "They've done a pretty good job cleaning up. Probably take less than a month before it's up and running again.
"Yeah, we'll have our old hang-out again. That one bar we went to was terrible."
"Their vodka was far too cheap and their music was awful!" Yuri agreed, shaking his head.
Nova remained quiet, keeping her eyes on the list in her hand.
"Not to mention those damned kids were not only drunk but on something. Did you see how many just laughed at me?"
Yuri chuckled. "Yes, yes I do. I think they were so high, they thought they were seeing things."
Blaze snorted. "Ridiculous. How is that any fun?"
The rest of the trip was rather uneventful and quiet, aside from some of the passerbys being frightened by Blaze's appearance.
They arrived at a small apartment building that looked similar to the one Nova had previously resided in.
"Er...so which one is it?"
"I don't remember that, sorry."
"I can go in and get the information from the front office." Yuri offered.
"Yeah, don't need to be freakin' anybody else out today." Blaze nodded.
"All right. You two wait here and I'll be back in a few minutes." Yuri said as he went inside.
Once he was gone, Nova looked up at Blaze. "It was nice of him to come with us."
"I think he figured it would be easier if another human was with us. I'm pretty intimidating lookin'."
Nova smiled. "Yes, you are."
"But you weren't too afraid of me."
She smiled wider. "I was just pretending, really. I was rather frightened. But something told me you weren't going to hurt me, so I didn't need to be worried."
"I would never hurt you intentionally, Nova."
"I know. I greatly appreciate it."
"You mean more to me than I could ever express."
She pressed her cheek against his chest. "I love you so much..."
He kissed the top of her head. "And I love you."
Yuri appeared in the doorway. "Hey lovebirds. I got the room number, come on in."
Blaze made his way towards the doorway. "Comin'."
The room that belonged to Nova's mother was all the way at the top in a corner.
Blaze stood behind Yuri, wanting him to be the first thing to occupant saw.
Yuri cleared his throat before knocking on the door with his fist.
Several seconds passed before someone answered the door.
A man answered the door. Blaze was rather surprised to find this man was not as burly looking or even a little drunk as Nick had been.
He ran a hand over his bald head. "What do you want?"
"Is my mother home?" Nova asked.
The man blinked. "Huh? Oh! Ms. Nakima! Yes. Your mother is home. But she's a bit indisposed at the moment-"
"What does that mean?"
Blaze tapped his foot in irritation. "She gonna see us or not?"
A shorter woman came up behind him. She had the same eye and hair color as Nova although her eyes were duller and her face full of wrinkles.
The woman glared at Nova. "The hell happened to you? And who are these...people?"
Yuri waved. "Hello Mrs. Nakima. We brought your daughter as per your request."
"My...? Oh, yes. Don came by and told me about your giving up being my little helper."
Blaze's eyes hardened. "She was never your helper, you bitch."
"And what the hell are you, then? Some kind of demon who's bewitched her?"
"Mother, stop, please. I'm not bewitched. Blaze is paying the money I was initially making."
Her mother's eyes widened. "He's..," She pushed the man out of her way. "What the hell are you saying?! You can't just leave!"
Blaze took a step back, putting his hand up to keep distance between the still injured young woman and her mother. "Hold it, lady."
"That isn't fair!" she shrieked, attempting to reach her daughter.
"Stop it!" Blaze snarled, grabbing the older woman's arm. "I will not hurt you, but you will not harm Nova!"
Mrs. Nakima screamed and fought to free her arm, unable to break free from the Viral's stronger grip.
Nova sobbed softly. "Please stop, please."
Blaze moved the still struggling woman far enough away so that he could put Nova down. Once she was safe out of the way, he turned back to her mother. "You can't get out of my grip, so stop trying."
Mrs. Nakima halted. "I don't understand."
Blaze shook his head. "Look. There was no way I was letting her continue being abused. Nor be forced to endure anymore of this nonsense."
"But she's my daughter! Don said..."
Blaze released his hold of the woman as she slumped to her knees.
Yuri folded his arms across his chest. "With Blaze paying, he's also paying for you, Annette. Don't be foolish and try to stop him. Don already is going to accept the money. You can just keep taking your drugs."
Annette looked away shamefully.
Nova reached a hand out and placed it on her mother's arm. "Mother. Is that really why you wanted to see me? To see why I wasn't bringing in money?"
"Yes, I thought you were abandoning me-"
"Like you did her, Annette?!" Yuri asked accusingly, scowling. "The other women raised her, not you."
Annette yanked her arm away from her daughter. "Leave me alone!"
Nova sighed, then coughed harshly.
"Nova!" Blaze took her under his arm. "Your ribs, are they bothering you?"
"They are a little. The medicine is wearing off." She coughed harder.
"We'll go get your prescriptions filled out when we're done here."
Annette looked at her in confusion. "What's wrong with your ribs?"
"She was injured in the bar fight that happened downtown."
"You mean the big explosion?!" the man asked, bewildered.
Blaze nodded. "Yes. We were there and had to deal with some trouble-makers. She was an unlucky bystander."
Nova's knees buckled suddenly.
Blaze snatched her up mid-fall and cradled her in his arms. "I have you, sweetheart."
Blaze pulled her shirt up and placed the cold metal of his armor-plated glove against her exposed rib. "Here."
She sighed softly. "That's a little better."
"What are you even?"
"He's mine." Nova said before Blaze could speak.
Blaze smiled down at her. He placed a kiss on her forehead. "That I am."
Yuri grinned. "Okay, lovebirds. We need to get her back home to rest."
"Nova. Please forgive me." Annette said quietly.
"I still love you, Mother. Even if you're weren't there for me after...you're still my mother."
Annette shook her head. "I am not your mother, nor your friend. I am merely the woman who birthed you and abandoned you."
"I still see you as my mother."
"You shouldn't." Yuri muttered.
"I know..." She winced.
"C'mon, we seriously need to go. Her condition won't be getting any better just standing here."
Blaze nodded and turned to leave.
Nova waved to her mother. "Bye Mom."
Blaze enforced Nova staying in bed as much as he was able to. He fetched whatever she required and even things she did not.
Blaze walked in with a tray of food in his hands. "Here we go." He laid the tray across her lap.
"Oh, Blaze. You really didn't have to."
"Nah. But you need to stay in bed."
She stuck her bottom lip out. "But that's not faiiir. I really just want to get up and move around."
He lightly poked the tip of her nose. "Hush now. I'll let you get up in a couple of days. I just want your wounds to heal properly."
"Will you really take me out to dinner?"
"Yes, I will."
"Kinda like a date?"
"Er. If you want to call it that, I suppose."
She clapped her hands together happily. "Yay! I've never been on a date before."
"I really haven't either."
"It'll be fun! Could we go see a movie, too?"
Blaze smiled at her enthusiasm. "I suppose."
"Come on, eat now."
She took a bite out of her sandwich and chewed thoughtfully. "Hey Blaze?"
She swallowed. "Blaze?"
"Did you ever play that game I bought you?"
He shook his head. "Nah. Took much has been going on for me to feel like playing games."
"Oh. If you do, could I watch?"
"Well sure," He paused for a moment. "Actually, why don't I go get the TV? I'm sure you're bored to tears."
Nova giggled. "You're going to bring the TV in here?"
Blaze waved his hand. "Sure. It ain't that heavy."
"I do forget how strong you are."
"I'm a Mega Digimon. If I am not strong enough to lift a TV, then I may as well revoke my right to Mega."
"Oh, don't say that!" Nova said, a horrified look on her face.
Blaze chuckled. "It's too easy to get you worked up sometimes."
Nova made a face. "You're so mean."
He leaned down and placed a kiss on her forehead. "Only because I love you. I'll be back in a minute."
Blaze returned a few minutes later, balancing the TV, still on its resting place, against his chest with the game system on top.
"You brought the table too?" Nova asked, wide-eyed.
Blaze set the table down with a grunt. "Yep. Can't have it sittin' on the floor, now can we?"
"It would be hard to see."
The Viral knelt down as he set up the TV and game system. After a little frustration with ensuring the cables were in the right sockets, the system was ready for playing. He settled himself next to Nova.
Before he had gotten far into the game, Nova had fallen back asleep. With her sleeping, Blaze allowed himself a chance to close his eyes.